It’s been quite a while since Microsoft acquired Nokia’s devices and services division, but talk about Nokia’s return to the smartphone business has never really gone silent since then. Which is good, because Nokia just made a big announcement that should make plenty of people quite happy.
Today, ahead of Google’s largest event of the year in Google I/O, Nokia has announced that it will be bringing Android-powered smartphones and tablets to the market. It’s the culmination of a new agreement with a brand new company based out of Finland called HMD which will see the production of Nokia-branded smartphones and tablets over the next decade.
The other big news here is that Nokia will be using Android on these devices, which has been rumored for quite some time.
It’s an interesting turn of events considering that as recently as the end of last year, Nokia was adamant that they weren’t planning on entering the smartphone market again. Of course, they did say they didn’t have plans on making phones again, and thanks to HMD taking over in that department, one could argue that Nokia is technically sticking to their word.
To make all this happen, HMD had to acquire some specific rights from Microsoft, which includes the Nokia branding rights. According to the press release, HMD has agreed to do just that. If that goes through without a hitch and if the other licenses are acquired, too, that means HMD is the sole global licensee of all Nokia-branded mobile phones and tablets. HMD plans to spend over $500 million over the next three years in an effort to promote Nokia’s brand globally.
We also can’t forget that the Nokia X existed once, in what already feels like a lifetime ago. The X featured Android under the hood, but it was so heavily modified to look almost like a Windows Phone and was built with a partnership from Microsoft, that it almost doesn’t count. It was a cheap, low-end handset, and not anywhere close to the high-end dreams that so many people had (and still have) for Nokia and Android. It also didn’t last long. This new partnership with HMD, though, will hopefully mean we finally get a high-end Android-based Nokia handset in the near future.
Unfortunately, everything is still new, so there aren’t any devices to show off just yet. But now we all have something to look forward to, right?